Why I started a food blog, in poem format:
“Send me the recipe!”
To the wonderful friends
who’ve asked me this
I’m ever so sorry;
cos I seem to have missed
The bit where I send you the recipe
and you cook it and eat it and then you text me
“Bloody hell Fliss, that was easy to do
– have you got another that I could use?”
But my apologies are over
I’ve gone the whole hog
I’m writing you dickheads
A FUNNY FOOD BLOG.
I wrote this in 2017 and my point still stands, 4 years, 2.5 boyfriends, 1 pandemic, and 1 MA (hons) in English Language later.
Upon the realisation I was writing out recipes for my friends three times a fortnight, I decided to start a public-facing food blog for anyone who wanted to move beyond pasta pesto and oven pizza at uni. I kept this facade up for a while, and then suddenly realised that people were coming here for the writing, not the recipes themselves.
Yes, far from being enticed by my glorious cooking, they stayed for my vile sense of humour and subsequent transparency that this is a the work of a food writer self-pleasuring linguistically. This has continued since I graduated and I can’t really see it stopping anytime soon. I’ll still write, and cook, and you can still complain about that stupid bloody food blogger with the whole life story before the damn recipe. Yeah, I’ll take it.
That said, if you are wanting to cook my silly little food stories rather than just spraying tea all over your keyboard reading them, then you’ll need to know a few things first.
What to expect from a recipe by my dickhead brain
- You won’t have to weigh much at all because a) surprisingly few people own weighing scales at Uni, and b) it’s just more simple to use other units, such as cubic meters, when batch cooking.
- There will be pulses – chickpeas, lentils, beans, barley etc – as they’re really cheap and easy to make into something interesting with the right know-how.
- I use a lot of oil, butter and salt, because I think the benefits of eating satiating, home-cooked food outweigh the shaky evidence that high fat diets are unhealthy and that salt is demonic. You can adjust the levels in the recipes to your liking – this is not a Fliss dictatorship.
- You will probably need to freeze leftovers, so get some shitty microwavable containers which are normally 10 for £1 anywhere. Make sure you keep an eye on the lids; mine have an inexplicably high divorce rate.
- Prepare yourself for lots of herbs and spices. This could be a large investment early on in your uni career, but I promise it makes everything so much better when you have oregano or ground cumin to hand. My top tip is to get yourself down to your local south asian or middle eastern supermarket and spend some money, because dried herbs and spices are 10x cheaper there than anywhere else.
- Do not expect precision. Physicists and mathematicians, look away now. Humanities students rejoice: there are no right or wrong answers and a hell of a lot of guesswork on your behalf.
- On that note: I write this blog exactly how I go about something rather than tailor to someone who doesn’t know their way round a kitchen at all. If that is you, there’s no shame in that. You probably weren’t provided the resources to learn how to cook before you came to uni, or haven’t had much practice. No judgement. But cooking really is an essential life skill, so please do learn the basics. YouTube is a fantastic resource for this and so is having a friend closeby to help you out. My blog just assumes you know words like saute, dice and spock-waffle, so come back after you can chop onions and not give yourself salmonella. After that, you’ll have a lovely time here.
- Whenever I use meat in a recipe, it’s normally bought yellow-stickered and cheap. I tend not to buy it otherwise. I live off reduced label everything where I can, but because of these pricing discrepancies I’ve stopped costing my recipes completely. It’d be unfair to tell you you can make organic baked chicken thighs for 90p because I found a pack going off in Sainsbury’s, or that the carrot soup was only 12p a serving because carrots were 37p/kg at Aldi. I’m also a notorious minesweeper of reduced labels on nice meat at Waitrose, and it helps very much that one of my good pals works on the meat counter there. I’d love to be able to afford to shop at the ‘trose all the time, but it’s eye wateringly spenny at full price, as is Sainsbury’s. I’m a Lidl lass through and through. Shopping there will help you keep your costs down too.